Ambitious Southern Belle Turned Barefoot and Pregnant
I was raised in a somewhat idyllic southern home — the oldest of three girls with two parents that loved us (and each other) unconditionally. Our parents raised us to be fiercely independent southern belles — you know the type. Charming yet brazen, educated but faithful, and extraordinarily ambitious.
As such, I grew up being decently remarkable and/or successful at whatever it was I put my mind to. Whether it was sports, socializing, or schoolwork — I generally finished somewhere near the top. I had aspirations of becoming a medical doctor — something that would provide a cushy lifestyle for my future family and I.
I was doing everything right. But somewhere along the way, I realized my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t know exactly what this meant at the time, but what I did know was that my future happiness depended on it. I graduated with my Biology degree, but rather than pursuing medical school, I turned my focus to beginning a life with my high school sweetheart. We got married and got pregnant almost immediately — not exactly according to plan, but a welcome blessing nonetheless.
After the birth of our son, I got my butt handed to me by postpartum depression. By some miracle, my husband and I overcame that obstacle only to find out that we were pregnant again. Another little boy joined our family that fall — just 16 months after we had become parents for the first time.
We ultimately made the decision as a family. We decided that I would stay home to raise our boys while my husband pursued our dream of him becoming a physician. Staying at home is something that I had always dreamed of doing but never really saw as a plausible option.
I was too driven. I had too much potential and too many goals to just settle for being a stay-at-home mom. That’s what I had always allowed myself to believe, which is not really fair at all. What does settling even mean? And who determines what’s settling and what’s not? What part of a mother choosing to stay at home with her children to raise them into respectful, strong-willed, kind, high-functioning members of society equates to settling?
In my opinion, no part of being a stay-at-home mom is settling. It’s dubbed the hardest job in the world for a reason. Its payment isn’t monetary. Its rewards come in the form of high-waisted underwear, dirty diapers, never going to the bathroom alone, and screaming — with some laughter, snuggles, hugs, and kisses thrown into the mix.
So why would an ambitious young southern woman — that had every opportunity to finish graduate school and begin a career debt-free, mind you — choose to complicate absolutely everything by abandoning any and all sense of structure and predictability?
To be honest, I don’t fully know the answer to that question. This journey of ours has been totally and completely freaking complicated and stressful and intimidating — and that’s putting it lightly. But at the end of the day, I’m more fulfilled than I’ve ever been. My heart is full. My marriage is strong. Y’all, I’m living for my family, and there’s not a damn thing I would change about that. ❤
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